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back to article We nearly MISSED OUT on iOS7 redesign: But someone snatched Jony Ive from the jaws of quit

Apple design chief Jony Ive almost quit his industrial design course, it has been revealed, meaning that in a parallel universe Apple iStuff would have looked a bit less... like this. In an interview with The Telegraph, designer Tom Karen revealed that Ive's father had approached him with a dilemma about his errant young son. " …

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Anonymous Coward

'Industrial Design is a hard way to make money. '

That was the impression a guest speaker gave to people on my Product Design for Manufacture BSc course along with our friends on the sister-course, Industrial Design BA (or 'Magic Marker Pen Fairies' as our lecturer called them). The guest speaker emphasised the long hours and stress involved in chasing deadlines. He really didn't make it sound like fun.

By contrast, another guest speaker outlined his career path after leaving an Industrial Design course. He spent some time on the dole, and then started making 'secret boxes' (small wooden curiosities that can only be opened if you know the knack, due to internal mechanisms like weights or magnets). Somehow that lead to working as a model maker for television advertisements... the Alien Flying Saucer in a lager advertisement was one of his creations.

At least, as courses go, the range of skills we were exposed to- workshop tools such as lathes and milling machines, spray booths, setting dual-booting Win98 and NT in order to use a certain CAD package and USB peripherals, drafting, hand rendering, UI mockups on Visual Basic, engineering concepts, material selection, marketing, project management, environmental awareness (Product Lifecycle Management), manufacturing process selection, mould design... - was varied. There is an element of 'jack of all trades, master of none', but mastery can come after graduation, through employment, messing around or perhaps by taking a Masters in a more specialised area.

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'Industrial Design is a hard way to make money. '

Especially because most design is about targeting something to a demographic and making it as cheap as possible, not making the best possible design.

One sure-fire way to make designers lose heart is make them destroy their creation.

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If the designer has their heart set on some unmanufacturable design, they might merely be a frustrated sculptor. Design is the process of satisfying the constraints of cost, function, appearance, ergonomics etc. and some designers take satisfaction from satisfying these constraints in an elegant way. To do so requires a good knowledge of the manufacturing process that will be used.

Still, some designers will end up spending ten years designing the rear of television sets. Glamorous it isn't.

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Fairies vs Dwarves..

I love the 'Magic Marker Pen Fairies' naming I've always wanted to know how and who transformed those beautful 'concept' illustrations of sweeping lines and hopeless perspective into a manufacturing drawing\tooling\prototype.

Doesn't matter whether the fairies are sketching a new car, household appliance or catwalk creation some poor bloody dwarf with a fine selection of axes, hammers etc has to batter materials to make it real.

Everyone remembers the fairies name .. Up the Dwarves..

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Re: Fairies vs Dwarves..

Manufacturing Engineers would be the boys and girls who transform the work of the Industrial Designers into products. The Product Design for Manufacture course was created as an attempt to bridge the traditional gap between the disciplines, by making the designer more aware of the manufacturing processes available - if not to make them an expert in the process, then to at least give them grounding enough that they can communicate with someone who is an expert.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fairies vs Dwarves..

My ex was studying manufacturing engineering while I was studying a BSc in ID (it was the other way around at my place; products designers were the Magic Marker Fairies!). From what I saw of the course and the projects that they undertook, they are the last people I'd ask to transform my work into a realised product.

A big strength of Apples design team is that they focus on the process as much as the product. Really, they have employed some quite innovative manufacturing solutions.

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Anonymous Coward

'Industrial Design is a hard way to make money. '

Especially if your daddy doesn't know the CEO of an industrial design company.

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jai
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Reliant Robin?

Not sure i'd have the guts to admit to being the designer of the Reliant Robin even to myself in private, let alone in a public interview!

http://www.topgear.com/uk/videos/clarkson-tips-over-reliant-robin

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Reliant Robin?

not forgetting that the Chopper not only weighed around 3 times more than any other similarly-sized bike at the time, it also had a very effective testicle-bruising gear stick.

Yes I had one, yes it bloody hurt when you slid off that long slippery seat.

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Alien

Re: Reliant Robin?

They were awesome for pulling wheelies though, with the seat right over the back wheel!

The icon shows the AC's face after a nadger/gear stick collision

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Re: Reliant Robin?

Yet both sold. They were successful designs.

The Robin was a solution to a real problem - people who only had motorcycle licences who wanted to stay warm, especially in the North East of England.

The Chopper was just dead cool, if you were a boy. It stayed in production for over ten years, and is credited with saving Raleigh. In fact it was updated and released a couple of years ago.

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Re: Reliant Robin?

"They were awesome for pulling wheelies though, with the seat right over the back wheel!"

Never managed that in a Robin!

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Re: Reliant Robin?

> Yet both sold. They were successful designs.

It would be more accurate to say they were successful products, despite their design.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Reliant Robin?

Design != final product.

Look at the original design for the Austin Allegro, it would have been a nice looking car.

Except that when it came to turn the design into the product the engine that was chosen (not by the designer) for the car didn't fit, so they made it into the porker we all know and loathe.

Original design, a lot more sleek (but still not a classic):

http://www.aronline.co.uk/images/ado67dev_06.jpg

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Vic
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Re: Reliant Robin?

> yes it bloody hurt when you slid off that long slippery seat.

Taught you to look out for potholes, though, with that tiny front wheel...

Vic.

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Reliant ?

Didn't Ogle also design the Reliant Scimitar - that was a rather different proposition. Beautiful and fast.

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Re: Reliant ?

And yet Tom Karen himself didn't like the whole 'fastback' car concept, like the Scimitar and the Ford Capri:

"nothing good to be said for them except that some people think they look all right. Aerodynamically they're lousy, headroom in the back is lousy, for visibility they're lousy, with a lot of glass they're lousy from a weight point of view and they give no boot access"

Still, as you say, though he didn't like the concept he just did his job.

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Re: Reliant ?

And the Bond Bug. And a bunch of coach bodies (if Wikipedia is to be believed)

also BSA Rocket 3, - rayguns for exhausts.

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Trollface

One trick pony

"The firm has a long established design pedigree and was responsible for the iconic Raleigh Chopper bike, as well as other famous designs like the Reliant Robin."

Ladies and gentleman, I give you....the triangle.

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Anonymous Coward

"All manner of iStuff soon followed, with the iPod, iPhone and iPad coming in quick succession."

iPad looked like the iPhone which looked like the iPod.

WOW Visionary!

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Anonymous Coward

You've just betrayed your ignorance of the design process. Just because the results look simple doesn't mean the steps taken to get there are.

.. wait, it's Obviously!, wilful ignorance comes as standard.

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Anonymous Coward

Moron...

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Joke

The Reliant Robin factor

"You're not driving it right," as Jobs would have said.

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Well at least original

Robin, Chopper original.

Ives just copied 1950s Braun stuff by Dieter Rams.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Well at least original

Using your interesting brand of logic, Rams in turn 'just copied' the Bauhaus modernist aesthetic. Mage, you don't know what you are talking about. Now run along, the grown ups are trying to have a sensible conversation.

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It's hard to argue with success, regardless of personal agreement or lack thereof, when it comes to products that Ive has designed for Apple. He worked his way up head of both hardware and software design, and millions of customers buy products that he's had a hand in designing.

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I am reminded of The Mary White House Experience

"..and to think Darling, if we hadn't gone to the cock fight we would never have met"

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Hot Piss!

You chaps actually use 'Reliant Robin'! Most people mistakenly say 'Robin Reliant'.

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Yep. I have never understood how people manage to get it the wrong way round. How many people say e.g. "Escort Ford" or "Impreza Subaru"? Not many, so why the manufacturer/model reversal with the Robin?

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Or they could have just leafed through a Braun catalogue from the 60/70's. Must be nice if your Daddy can get you work experience in a top design agency.

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Windows

Bond Bug was an Ogle design too.

Following the purchase of Bond Cars Ltd., Reliant commissioned Tom Karen of Ogle Design to design a fun car.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:BondBug700ES.jpg

Bikers of the North would have loved to roll these in winter too I guess.

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Bronze badge

fawning fanbois crap. news please.

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